Lewes have made their eighth summer signing after winning the battle to snap up former Crawley Town defender Alex Malins.

A number of clubs were interested in Malins, who was on the bench for Crawley last season but failed to make a first team appearance.

The 19-year-old played nine games on loan for the Rooks in 2013-14, having also enjoyed a spell on work experience at the Dripping Pan the year before.

Lewes made clear their desire to sign Malins on a permanent deal once he left the Checkatrade.com Stadium and the player agreed a deal when the Rooks returned to pre-season training on Thursday.

Assistant manager Danny Bloor said: “Alex was with us at the latter part of last season and we saw then what and up and coming young player he was.

“There were a couple of other clubs after his services and we were delighted to beat off competition to sign him. We feel he will only get better as a player.”

Lewes could have a completely new defence for their opening friendly against Albion at the Dripping Pan next Saturday. Malins is the fifth defender to be signed this summer after Gary Elphick, Ollie Rowe, Sam Cole and Henry Muggeridge.